Achieving best consideration on disposal and General Disposal Consent 2003
Achieving best consideration on disposal and General Disposal Consent 2003

The following Planning guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Achieving best consideration on disposal and General Disposal Consent 2003
  • Duty to achieve best consideration
  • General Disposal Consent 2003
  • General consent for land held by the Greater London Authority
  • Specific consent to disposal
  • Proposed reform
  • Legal challenge
  • State aid

Duty to achieve best consideration

General duty

Under section 123(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 (LGA 1972), principal authorities, defined in England as councils elected for a non-metropolitan county, a district or a London borough, and in Wales as a county or county borough (referred to in this note as local authorities (LAs)), are entitled to dispose of land held by them 'in any manner they wish'. This includes selling freehold interests, granting or assigning leases, and granting easements.

However, this general power is limited by the duty in LGA 1972, s 123(2) to achieve the best consideration reasonably obtainable when disposing of land, unless consent has been obtained from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government/National Assembly for Wales.

A disposal by way of a short tenancy (defined as the grant of a term not exceeding seven years or the assignment of a term which has at the date of the assignment not more than seven years left to run) is not caught by the duty to achieve best consideration.

Some statutes also impose specific procedural requirements before certain land can be disposed of. For example, LGA 1972, s 123(2A) restricts the disposition of land consisting of or forming part of an open space unless before disposing of the land the LAs cause notice of their intention to